Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution

Azamat Tutkushev specialises in disputes against government agencies, protecting business interests in the field of taxation and public procurement.

Dispute resolution in Kazakhstan

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited

Reflective of the firm’s wide-ranging expertise, Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited has a number of dedicated sub-teams within the dispute resolution practice. Alexander Korobeinikov, Alissa Inshakova and Yana Daloglu focus on international arbitration proceedings; counsel Igor Kolupayev and Alissa Inshakova handle tax and customs disputes; Korobeinikov and Kuben Abzhanov are dedicated to employment litigation matters; Andrei Yorsh and senior associate Nurgul Abdreyeva specialise in inellectual property disputes. Recent work involves representing clients operating in the oil and gas, mining, telecommunications and construction sectors. It is also active in disputes involving state authorities, such as the competiton, tax and customs authorities. Almaty-based Kuatbekov and Korobeinikov head the practice.

Practice head(s):

Azamat Kuatbekov; Alexander Korobeinikov

Other key lawyers:

Andrei Yorsh; Igor Kolupayev; Nurgul Abdreyeva


‘Korobeinikov provided support on very complex issues.’

‘Excellent team. Never failed to meet demanding expectations. The team is able to accommodate very sensitive personal and professional issues in a delicate and very effective way.’

‘Azamat Kuatbekov is arguably the strongest legal professional in dispute resolutions in Central Asia. His insight and very strong understanding of the legal and business environment help to look at all questions from various angles and find the most effective solution.’

Key clients

EVERLIGHT Electronics

Kazakhstani Cement Company LLP

Two Turkish construction companies

SkyBridge Investments

Lafonda Invest Pte. Ltd

Major international IT company

Lukoil Lubricants Central Asia

Epiroc Central Asia LLP

United Cement Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Advising United Cement Group Plc on the SCC arbitration arising out of a multimillion-USD financial agreement.
  • Advising EVERLIGHT Electronics on several court proceedings in Kazakhstani courts relating to the fulfilment of PPP agreements.
  • Representing the consortium of two Turkish construction companies in a multimillion-USD dispute relating to construction projects in Kazakhstan.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP has an excellent reputation in high-profile international arbitrations, where it acts for the state, state-owned enterprises and investors in matters that are of strategic importance to Kazakhstan. Recent work includes advice to the Kazakh government in a UNCITRAL investor-state arbitration under the Bilateral Investment Treaty between Canada and the Soviet Union. Astana-based Askar Moukhitdinov co-heads the practice with three partners located outside of Kazakhstan, including New York-based Eric Gilioli and Paris-based Peter Wolrich and Geoffroy Lyonnet.

Practice head(s):

Peter Wolrich; Geoffroy Lyonnet; Askar Moukhitdinov; Eric Gilioli

Key clients

The Republic of Kazakhstan




Work highlights

  • Advised the Republic of Kazakhstan in a UNCITRAL arbitration commenced by a Canadian investor pursuant to the Bilateral Investment Treaty between Canada and the Soviet Union.


Daniyar Toigonbaev heads the litigation and dispute resolution practice at Dentons, which has an outstanding track record in complex commercial, corporate, administrative and tax disputes. The team is highly involved in matters against state authorities, acting for large enterprises that have been inspected for tax, environmental and other breaches. It is also active in high-profile international arbitrations; Aigoul Kenjebayeva has extensive experience as a Kazakh law expert in international arbitrations. Recent work has focused on the mining and oil and gas sectors, including the representation of major Kazakh steel producer ArcelorMittal Temirtau JSC in disputes against the competition authority. Other key individuals include Victoria Simonova and counsel Artur Utarbayev.

Practice head(s):

Daniyar Toigonbaev


‘Dentons has long been our go-to source for legal advice and representation when faced with the distress of litigation and dispute resolution.’

‘Dentons’ team headed by the brilliant partner, Daniyar Toigonbaev, are professional, tenacious, trustworthy and compassionate. They care about the client and fight hard for them.’

‘Dentons lawyers’ knowledge of the substantive and procedural law and navigation among effective litigation strategies are unmatched and the successful outcomes of our disputes speak for themselves.’

‘We would like to highlight Daniyar Toigonbaev and Artur Utarbayev. Their trial skills are well documented, but they are as effective in the conference room negotiating as they are in the courtroom litigating.’

Key clients

Kazzinc LLP

Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V.

Arcelor Mittal Temirtau JSC

Shaimerden JSC


Zhairem Mining and Concentrating Complex JSC

Halliburton International GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advising Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V. on an environmental dispute which arose out of an environmental compliance inspection of the client.
  • Representing ArcelorMittal Temirtau JSC in court in two disputes against the competiton authority.
  • Representing Zhairem Mining and Concentrating Complex JSC in court in a claim for invalidation of third-party licenses for mineral exploration issues for the client’s contract area.

Kinstellar LLP

Kinstellar LLP‘s versatile dispute resolution practice is a strong pick for major international law firms, with the team covering complex and cross-border commercial, environmental, construction, customs and tax disputes. It is led by Almaty-based Mukhit Yeleuov, whose industry sector expertise includes energy, construction and materials, mining and metals, and pharmaceuticals and life sciences, among others. Other significant drivers of work include arbitration proceedings and criminal investigations, the latter spanning areas such as allegations of fraud and corruption. Senior associate Dina Berkaliyeva is recommended for her advice to oil and gas companies in environmental disputes.

Practice head(s):

Mukhit Yeleuov

Other key lawyers:

Dina Berkaliyeva

Reed Smith LLP

The Astana-based dispute resolution department at Reed Smith LLP focuses on international arbitration proceedings and cross-border disputes. London-based managing partner Belinda Paisley heads the practice, whose particular expertise lies with investor-state arbitration. Another individual to note is Suzie Savage, who was promoted to partner in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Belinda Paisley

Other key lawyers:

Suzie Savage


Almaty-based Talgat Sariev and managing partner Sofiya Zhylkaidarova co-head the dispute resolution and litigation practice at SIGNUM Law Firm. The team’s varied workload involves tax and commercial contracts disputes, international arbitration and criminal proceedings, as well as advice on litigation risk assessment. It has a standout reputation for representing notable foreign companies in matters of regional significance, with experience in the oil and gas, agriculture and automotive sectors, among others.

Practice head(s):

Talgat Sariev; Sofiya Zhylkaidarova


‘Client oriented, quick and clear advice.’

‘This is a small but very professional team of lawyers. We were very pleased with Signum’s approach, when they pushed both parties to find a compromised solution in an attempt to avoid court litigation.’

‘Sofia Zhylkaidarova, Talgat Sariev and Zhazira Ramazanova are very experienced in the oil and gas industry.’

Key clients

Lucent Petroleum LLP

Hempel Russia


Unicase Law Firm

Unicase Law Firm has a proven track record in litigation, with experience across a broad range of industries such as oil and gas, mining, infrastructure, transport, construction, banking and telecommunications, among others. The team, whose further expertise includes international arbitration proceedings and criminal investigations, is the first port of call for government authorities, Kazakh and international companies, as well as investment and asset management institutions. Almaty-based Artem Timoshenko heads the practice, which also includes Sanzhar Amangeldy.

Practice head(s):

Artem Timoshenko

Other key lawyers:

Sanzhar Amangeldy


‘Artem Timoshenko was incredibly responsive and just brilliant. We obtained the best outcome possible, and this would not have been possible without his years of experience.’

‘I am very impressed and satisfied with the level of professionalism, performance and commitment. Artem Timoshenko takes a hands-on approach to problem-solving and is very effective in complex cases.’

‘An efficient litigation machine that has successfully defended our interests in an international consortium.’

‘The firm has extensive experience in the energy sector, which was very important in our case. This may have influenced the course of the case.’

‘I would definitely recommend Artem Timoshenko, not only as a great lawyer, but also as a professional who is easy to talk to. Our team members felt completely confident in his counselling and expertise.’

‘Unicase Law Firm provides a better way for the client to react immediately and effectively to their opponent’s strategy.’

‘Artem Timoshenko is a partner who is involved in the clients’ cases. He is helpful, collaborative and provides a result-oriented approach.’

Key clients

Beineu-Shymkent Gas Pipeline LLP

Aprile SPA



NBTC Group

A3 System LLP

Work highlights

  • Represented Beineu-Shymkent Gas Pipeline LLP at the judicial bodies in Kazakhstan arising from the claim under the EPC Contract.
  • Represented the interests of a manufacturer of electrical products and solutions for electrical and data networks, in a case consisting of debt collection from two debtors arising from the non-performance of supply contracts.


AEQUITAS focuses on complex cross-border litigation and commercial arbitration, as well as investment arbitration, in matters that are predominantly based outside of Kazakhstan. In cases with a foreign element, the team collaborates with specialists from respective jurisdictions, bringing outbound work to international law firms. Practice head Ardak Idayatova, who also heads the firm’s infrastructure and PPP practice, has extensive experience of construction arbitration, particularly those concerning FIDIC contracts. Elsewhere, the group has expertise in disputes connected to employment, banking and bankruptcy, among others. Valikhan Shaikenov left the firm in February 2022 to found Shaikenov Law Experts (SHEL).

Practice head(s):

Ardak Idayatova

Other key lawyers:

Farukh Iminov


‘A professional team with deep knowledge of the subject. Always very precise and follow the timeline.’

‘Very responsive, digging into the depth of the question and details to give the best solutions. Thoroughly prepared and open to discussion.’

Key clients

Unilever Kazakhstan LLP

Leighton Agrio Ltd

Anahata Solutions S.R.O.


Centil Law

The disputes practice at Centil Law has a strong track record in local litigation and international commercial arbitration, with a particular focus on investment and contractual disputes. Almaty-based Dinara Jarmukhanova leads the team, which is renowned for its assistance with the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, in addition to enforcement procedures and administrative disputes. Elsewhere, the team is experienced in matters connected to the construction, energy, trade, employment and insurance sectors. White-collar crime investigations are another area of expertise.

Practice head(s):

Dinara Jarmukhanova

Other key lawyers:

Aigerim Akmaganbetova


‘The main feature is the engagement and understanding of the local external environment of law.’

‘Dinara Jarmukhanova remains involved in cases, and knows the details, which to some extent is uncharacteristic for leading roles in law firms in the Central Asian region.’

‘Aigerim Akmaganbetova demonstrated exceptional responsiveness and always provided prompt feedback on all issues that arose during interaction.’

Key clients

Entegre Satek Electronik A.S.

Lever X

Sace SRV Srl


Obshchepit RK LLP


GRATA International

GRATA International has extensive experience in construction, commercial and employment litigation, with the team representing clients before both Kazakh and international courts, including arbitral tribunals. The group has also seen an increase in intellectual property litigation, due in large part to the assistance of counsel and head of intellectual property Timur Berekmoinov. Almaty-based Askar Konysbayev and Assel Ilyassova head the practice, which was boosted by the arrival of counsel Zhandarbek Ramazan in February 2022, an experienced judge of the Specialised Interdistrict Economic Court of Almaty. Senior associate Sukhrob Issakhanov is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Askar Konysbayev; Assel Illyasova

Other key lawyers:

Zhandarbek Ramazan; Sukhrob Issakhanov

Key clients

Procter and Gamble Kazakhstan LLP

ONGC Videsh Limited, Kazakh Branch

Maersk Oil Kazakhstan Gmb, Kazakh Branch

OMV Petrom, Kazakh Branch

KazStroyService, LLP

Caspian Offshore and Marine Construction, LLP

Caspian Mainport Aktau, LLP

CNLC International Kazakhstan Inc., LLP

Batys- Munay, LLP

Vostok Neft Services, LLP

Pfizer, Inc., Kazakh Representative Office

Korean National Oil Company

Atlas Copco Central Asia, LLP

Hill International Inc.

Turkuaz Machinery, LLP

LG Electronics Almaty Kazakhstan, JSC

Kuatamlonmunay JV, LLP

ENKA İnşaat ve Sanayi A.Ş., Kazakh Branch

JTI Kazakhstan, LLP

Cengiz Insaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. JSC

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP‘s team in Almaty and Astana works alongside the firm’s London office to represent Kazakh and international clients in complex high-value disputes. The practice is focused on international arbitration proceedings, although it has increasingly handled matters in local arbitral tribunals, as well as local litigation. Managing partner and general director Aset Shyngyssov leads the team, whose experience in this field covers construction projects, oil and gas, corporate and tax disputes. Another name to note is Asem Bakenova, who focuses on infrastructure-related projects.

Practice head(s):

Aset Shyngyssov

Sayat Zholshy & Partners

Sayat Zholshy & Partners stands out for its work in tax, corporate and competition law disputes, due in large part to the firm’s cross-practice approach. The group, which is entrusted local counsel for numerous international clients and their referring law firms, handles matters involving banks and other financial institutions, rehabilitation and bankruptcy, as well as investment, construction and real estate disputes. Recent work has involved representing clients operating in the financial services, pharmaceutical, mining, food and beverages, telecommunications, and oil and gas sectors. Managing partner Vitaliy Vodolazkin heads the practice, which also includes competition and intellectual property specialist Amir Begdesenov.

Practice head(s):

Vitaliy Vodolazkin

Other key lawyers:

Amir Begdesenov; Assel Sandybayeva


‘The team consists of highly qualified litigators taking unconventional approaches to exceptionally challenging lawsuits.’

‘We entrust Vitaliy Vodolazkin with our most complex lawsuits, including our disputes with Kazakhstan tax, antitrust and other authorities. His in-depth analysis, comprehensive approach and legal knowledge ensure that we always accomplish our goals.’

‘Over a number of years, the team has been representing our Kazakh subsidiary in a number of disputes with Kazakhstan tax authorities. They have a strong professional reputation and a high degree of understanding. They are perfectionists.’

Key clients

Nomad Insurance JSC

theSAY Pharma

Eurasian Foods Corporation JSC

RG Brands Kazakhstan


Takeda Kazakhstan


Mechel-Service Kazakhstan

NF Pharma

First Heartland Jusan Bank JSC

KazGerMunai LLP

Kcell JSC

Work highlights

  • Representing Nomad Insurance JSC in front of the Kazakhstan Supreme Court and other Kazakhstan courts in connection with a number of disputes with Kazakhstan customs authorities.
  • Representing First Heartland Jusan Bank JSC in front of Kazakhstan courts in an effort to protect their business reputation.
  • Representing AK NIET LLP in a dispute with the Kazakhstan Antitrust Authority.

Tukulov & Kassilgov Litigation LLP

Formed in 2020, dispute resolution boutique Tukulov & Kassilgov Litigation LLP has affirmed its place among the leading law firms in Kazakhstan. Tax and customs litigation has been an area of significant growth for the group, although it is also well-placed to handle complex corporate and commercial litigation, including insolvency-related matters, as well as disputes involving intellectual property and technology disputes. Recent work has involved clients operating in the telecommunications, construction, banking and pharmaceutical sectors. Almaty-based partners Bakhyt Tukulov and Ravil Kassilgov head the practice, which also includes Nataliya Shapovalova.

Practice head(s):

Bakhyt Tukulov; Ravil Kassilgov

Other key lawyers:

Nataliya Shapovalova


‘The key strength of the firm is its founding partner Bakhyt Tukulov. He embodies the firm’s incredibly dedicated and hardworking approach. They are commercial, savvy and very much aware of the wider points of cross border litigation.’

‘Bakhyt Tukulov is an outstanding individual. He is very intelligent and aware of how local and foreign law concepts interact. He is excellent with clients and understands (and conveys their) ultimate goals. He is quite simply great to work with.’

‘Great analytical skills, efficient strategies and time management.’

‘Tailored methods, depth of expertise, passion in litigation.’

‘The team delivers quick answers. They don’t provide just provide analysis, but they share potential alternatives and solutions to the problem.’

‘Bakhyt Tukulov is a very trusted lawyer. His team is very strong and dependable.’

‘Prompt and professional solution of problems and disputes.’

‘Very proactive and professional approach. Good negotiations and settlement skills.’

Key clients

Samsung Electronics

Eurasian Bank JSC


KazMunaiGas Drilling


Medac GmbH

Work highlights

  • Represented the minority shareholders of KazTransCom, a telecommunications operator in Kazakhstan, in a dispute with a 95% shareholder (JUSAN Ventures).
  • Represented Medac GmbH in a dispute against state authorities on the illegal issuance of a registration certificate for a pharmaceutical product, as well as a dispute on the suppression of actions that create a threat of infringement of a patent right.
  • Represented one of Kazakhstan’s largest developers in a tax dispute over alleged tax claims (approx. $6.2m).

Artyushenko & Partners Boutique Law Firm

Artyushenko & Partners Boutique Law Firm is a major player in the real estate and construction space, with particular expertise in development, investment and management disputes in litigation and arbitration proceedings. Key clients of the firm include international companies specialising in projects involving infrastructure, construction and technology. Managing partner Andrey Artyushenko, who is renowned for his experience in FIDIC and EPC contracts, co-heads the practice with an experienced former judge of the East Kazakhstan regional court, Gulnar Ospanova.

Practice head(s):

Andrey Artyushenko; Gulnar Ospanova

Key clients

Saraiva + Associados

RC Eurasia

Kryzha Azii

Perviy Dom Stroy

Leader Engineering

Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young Kazakhstan LLP assists businesses in the resolution of complex commercial disputes. Almaty-based Dinara Tanasheva represented Kazakh and multinational companies with various state authorities and courts, including tax and administrative disputes. Tanasheva co-heads the practice with director Aziz Abdukarimov.

Practice head(s):

Dinara Tanasheva; Aziz Abdukarimov

Other key lawyers:

Chingis Yessupov


The dispute resolution practice at Integrites handles litigation, arbitration and mediation matters, a significant proportion of which have involved a cross-border element. The team assists with pre-trial and trial proceedings, recognition of foreign arbitral awards and judgements, and cases before state authorities. Recent work involves clients operating in the life sciences, oil and gas and aviation sectors. The group is led by Duman Akhmetov, whose focus can be seen in the real estate, construction, infrastructure and logistics sectors. Kurmangazy Talzhanov is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Duman Akhmetov

Other key lawyers:

Kurmangazy Talzhanov

Key clients

Arysta Life Science Great Britain

MM Publication

Work highlights

  • Representing Arysta LifeScience Great Britain Limited in a dispute on a claim for the recovery of damages for improper provision of accounting services.
  • Representing MM Publication in a dispute against a Kazakhstan company on copyright infringement, defending their interests in the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan in the cassation instance.

MG Partners

MG Partners has experience in disputes related to commercial and corporate law. Recent work has involved clients operating in the construction, telecommunications and financial services sectors. Inna Revazova, Darya Markina and Meruet Zhunubayeva co-head the practice. Another name to note is managing partner Nurlan Sultanbayev, who has over fifteen years of experience representing large corporations and business partners in litigation and arbitration proceedings. The firm has offices in Astana, Almaty and Karaganda.

Practice head(s):

Inna Revazova; Darya Markina; Meruet Zhunubayeva

Other key lawyers:

Nurlan Sultanbayev


‘High quality team.’

Nazkhanov and Partners

Nazkhanov and Partners‘ six-strong dispute resolution team comprises former judges and law enforcement officers; this includes Tair Nazkhanov, Nataliya Russakova, Oryngazy Jaboldinov, Abzal Kassymzhanov, Mardenov Damir and Dyussembekov Darkhan. This group represents corporate entities and individuals, including entrepreneurs, managers and accountants, in white-collar criminal cases and tax litigation matters, although it is also well-placed to handle commercial litigation as well.

Practice head(s):

Tair Nazkhanov; Nataliya Russakova; Oryngazy Jaboldinov; Abzal Kassymzhanov; Mardenov Damir; Dyussembekov Darkhan

Key clients

UNY Sapa Consulting LLP

IT Integra LLP



Alma Mater Fields LLP

Fruitconsulting LLM

Petrosun LLP

Finexpertiza Kazakhstan LLP